summer is in
aah! let us begin . . .*
We walked up through the churchyard where many of us have seen ghosts - for another time perhaps. It's quite overgrown in places. An area of importance for some rare species of plant my friend informed me. The solitude of church graveyards is a wonderful thing in daylight. The amount of wildlife that lives in them is phenomenal - I hoped to see a jay as there are so many oak trees there. No jays, but we stumbled onto this small mark of Forster's importance to the area. As you walk past this into the field behind I had a rush of what? Nostalgia? No, but a memory of those long cross country runs we had to undertake from school. Our school was just down the avenue from the church.
In those days we had to do a real cross country run. In these days of risk assessments and a paedophile in every hedgerow (nature deficit disorder!!) kids just have to run around the school field a few times. That's in those schools that haven't sold off their school fields. Still, hardly a "cross country" run, is it? Running around the school field was a punishment that the science teacher used to excel in when I were a lad. In those days come rain, mud, snow, hail, whatever - rarely sunshine, though - we had to run through the avenue, churchyard, fields. Sunshine was only for those long hot summers we had in those days. After the run, covered in caked mud and feet clogged with chalk, we were forced to go into the communal shower. It was always a bit disconcerting that the P.E. teacher was in there with you, but hey! it was a boy's school.:
"Pass the soap, lad."
"Yes sir." Thing is, he never went on the run with us.
With several skylarks twittering away high over the fields and my friend's dog startling the partridges, it was a great feeling to walk through the years and dredge up some memories. On the way home a jay flew out of a tree and plonked itself onto the side of the A14. I knew I was going to see one that day.
Thinking back to the walk through the churchyard and how it is becoming as immaculately unkempt as Francis Rossi's hairdo, there seems to be a synchronicity at large here. I have become fascinated by the way the the real world - that's nature you know, weeds and foxes and stuff - has begun to encroach into our world more and more. The urban world if left alone will always be colonised: weeds, after all, were the first things to grow on the bombsites after WW2. So, "only connect" indeed. I get interested in this stuff just as the BBC decides to show a programme about the unnatural wildlife of London. I missed it, of course, but thanks to iPlayer I can sit and watch it in bed with a cup of tea later tonight. I missed it because I went to see Prometheus last night: a film that concerns itself very much about the nature of life itself. I'll leave it to others to judge its shortcomings but it's an interesting film. Eric Von Daniken where are you now?
* Summer Is In by Anne Briggs - recorded in the early 1970s just down the road from here in Little Bealings with Steve Ashley and his short-lived band Ragged Robin.